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Monica Grenfell's First-class males; Is The Man In Your Life Showing More Bulges Than My Postbag? Three Readers Have Put Their Men Into My Hands . . . To Help You Find A Trimmer, Fitter Version Of Your Hero.


I know I am overweight, but I think I carry it quite well because I am also tall. I was a big baby and all of my family are big and strapping. To be honest, I don't like the way I look, but I love my food and I enjoy cooking.

I have a stressful job which I get a lot out of, and I would like to have more energy. I often feel lethargic in the evenings, and I pick a lot at food.

I hate the gym. To me, the most pointless thing is jogging on a machine. I like my weekly badminton, but that's more social than anything. I used to smoke a lot, but I now have just 3-5 cigars a day.

At the weekend I tend to work. I have a cooked breakfast and usually drive to family or friends. I'm looking forward to this challenge, and Bec is enthusiastic about joining me in the gym. My ambition is to walk down the aisle with her next year looking as I did when we first met - about two-and-a -half stone lighter.


James is my ideal man. He's handsome, and I think he's gorgeous. Everything about him is caring and giving, but I really would like to see him a little slimmer, if only for the sake of his health. I'll support him all the way.


6-7am Get up, no breakfast.

9am Buy sandwich to eat in car.

Midday Baguette, sometimes McDonalds.

7pm Arrive home and snack on crisps, toast, biscuits.

8pm Steak or roast chicken, vegetables, potatoes, glass of wine, ice cream.

9-11pm Cheese and chutney with crackers, fruit crisps or sandwich. Beer, if he goes out.

Present fitness regime Nothing except a game of badminton on Tuesday nights with friends.


James must change those eating habits and get out more!

I have devised a diet plan which spreads his meals throughout the day to keep his blood sugar levels up and maintain energy.

Exercising will give him a lot more energy for his job, and he needs a change of pace to keep work in perspective. His diet is too high in saturated fat and his heart and lungs are basically getting no workout at all. His mobility and flexibility are also poor, and we will work on that too. Because he's young, there is no reason why he can't reach peak fitness in just a few months.



20 minutes on exercise bike, 40 minutes walking on treadmill. 3 minutes of sit-ups and stretching.


Game of badminton, weights for upper body for 10 minutes, stretching.


45 minutes of fast walking, Stairmaster for 10 minutes, leg extensions, 3 minutes of sit-ups and stretching.


30 minutes on rowing machine, Pex-odec machine, press-ups. sit-ups, 3 minutes of stretching.


One-hour walk with Rebecca, swimming (when a new local pool opens).

20s male

JAMES GAY 25 years


Sales Executive

HEIGHT 6ft WEIGHT 16 stone

CHEST 44ins WAIST 42ins James is engaged to Rebecca, 26, and they are getting married in July next year. He clocks up 4,000 miles a month driving, and the rest of his time is spent in the office. He has gained nearly two stone in the past two-and-a-half years since leaving university.


When I was at school I was short and weedy. Then I left and got a job in a vegetable wholesaler's which was very physically demanding, so I stayed slim. I used to go bodybuilding with my mate, but stopped suddenly and never started again. I love my job and the family life, and I suppose I'm too contented, really. Sue goes out to work in the evenings so I have to stay in and babysit - the perfect excuse for sitting in front of the telly! I'd like to lose weight to support Sue, who's been on your Slender Agenda diet campaign, and for our wedding.


Clive came straight to me from 30 years with his mother, and the only thing he brought was his special plate! It's like a platter, and he kept it for four years. Now he eats off a normal plate, which is quite a breakthrough.

Clive's Clive. He could do with losing a bit of weight but he's got a nice body, especially his chest. Why is he overweight? The good life of course. He's easily pleased - he comes in to his tea ready and waiting and generally has an easy life. I'd like him to lose a bit though - we can go through hell together.


9.30am Sandwich, yoghurt, fruit, chocolate biscuit.

12 noon Sandwich, fruit, chocolate biscuit.

5pm "Whatever Sue's cooking" - stews, meat and two veg, etc, plus blackcurrant juice.

Present fitness regime

Football on Sundays.


Clive's high blood pressure will be helped by cardiovascular exercise, and all that sitting will be destroying his back and his stomach muscles. I have devised a new plan for both of them to follow which allows for their favourite curries, and he has an exercise bike which he can use when the children are in bed.

He needs to do sit-ups and back-strengthening exercises, and go for as many walks as possible to strengthen his bones. I would like him to cut down the chocolate biscuits from two to one, and have salad fillings for his sandwiches. He also needs more salads and a weekly portion of fish - he just isn't using his calories.



45 minute run. Two sets of 12 curl-ups (see panel below), stretching.


45 minute run, 20 minutes on the exercise bike, two sets of 12 press-ups, stretching, four sets of 12 curl-ups.


45 minutes exercise bike, press-ups, curl-ups as before, stretching.


One hour walk with the children.


Football, stretching, four sets of 12 curl-ups.

30s male


35 years


Plant operator

HEIGHT 5ft 9in

WEIGHT 14 stone

CHEST 46in WAIST 33in

Clive and fiancee Sue have two sons. He was a bodybuilder, but gave up when his friend stopped going. He has put on two stone in five years.


Coming up to 50, I'd like to be fitter. I used to work in a pub and I think the weight started there, but it's also my sedentary lifestyle. I'm either sitting in the office or driving. There aren't many facilities round here for exercise, apart from walking. I suppose I'll just have to take the dog out a bit more.


I'm not bothered about how Martin looks. It's not his fault - it's the type of job he does. But I am concerned for his health because he's reaching the big 5-Oh. I'd like him to lose another stone, and I'm quite excited about his new fitness plan. The country round here is lovely, and I think we'll all start to join him for his walks.


5.30am Bowl of cereal.

12 noon Sausage roll or sandwich, fruit, sometimes egg on toast in staff canteen.

Afternoon Working in the shop, picking at sweets from the jars. Cups of tea every hour.

6.30pm Pie and chips or "whatever's getting out of date from the shop", yoghurt.

9pm Orange, crisps, biscuits. "I do sneak down to the shop for chocolate sometimes."

Present fitness regime Has recently started using an exercise bike on most evenings.


Martin has made a good start, and I am impressed by his attitude to the programme. He will do whatever he has to, including cardiovascular work like cycling and walking. Luckily there are quite a few hills round his area, so he'll soon get puffed striding up those. He must watch those pies! Pastry is out in future, to be replaced by fish in sauce, plain meat, jacket potatoes and tuna fish and more pulses like sweetcorn and peas. Lunch must be a sandwich to keep blood sugar levels up, and if he feels the need to sneak down to the shop he must head for the fruit and veg section! He must also strengthen his back, and stretch out fully after exercise to keep flexible. Walking and cycling will be enough, with swimming once or twice a week.



45 minute walk, 30 minutes cycling, two sets of 12 curl-ups, stretching.


30 minute swim, three sets of 10 press-ups, back-strengthening exercises, stretching.




45 minutes cycling, three sets of 12 curl-ups, three sets of 10 press-ups, stretching.


Swim or cycle for 45 minutes, curl-ups as before, stretching.

40s male


OCCUPATION Manager for Royal Mail, joint owner of village post office and store.

HEIGHT 5ft 8in

WEIGHT 12st 4lb

CHEST 40ins WAIST 40ins

Married to Caroline, with two daughters. Martin has recently lost a stone using an exercise bike. He'd now like to lose another stone.
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Grenfell, Monica
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 15, 1998
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